Rep. Sanchez introduces legislation
to require all public high schools provide
technical and vocational training


STATE HOUSE – Rep. Enrique Sanchez has introduced legislation that would require public high schools in the state to provide all students with technical and vocational training such as welding, pre-engineering or cosmetology.

“We have thousands of students going through our public schools who don’t have access to any technical or vocational training. They graduate high school with no practical skills,” said Representative Sanchez (D-Dist. 9, Providence). “We need to be real: not everyone needs to go to college and there are lots of good paying jobs out there like carpentry, commercial baking or plumbing that don’t require a degree. We should be offering better skills to our youth.”


According to Representative Sanchez, the Rhode Island Department of Education does not currently require any technical or vocational training. Out of the eight public high schools in Providence, he says, only one (Providence Career and Technical Academy) offers any technical and vocational training.


The bill (2023 H-5343) compliments other legislation (2023 H-5251) Representative Sanchez has introduced that would require all public high schools in the state to provide students with nutrition, food preparation and cooking courses annually.

“I’ve worked in the classroom with students,” Representative Sanchez said. “We need to change the whole way we think about education. Students should be learning the life skills they need to thrive. That means teaching nutrition, personal finance and civics. And it means teaching them skills they can use to have meaningful careers.”